Sep 3 2021
Louisiana has been approved for a federal program that allows Hurricane Ida survivors to stay in a hotel for up to 30 days, officials said Friday.
The program is managed by FEMA – the Federal Emergency Management Agency – and is called Transitional Shelter Assistance.
It is separate from state and parish-run shelters, which house 3,427 people at 28 sites, according to Catherine Heitman, director of communications for the Ministry of Children and Family Services.
Those interested in a hotel should register for help – www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
Applicants must show their residence in one of the declared disaster areas, be able to verify occupancy and be relocated and unable to live in the house they occupied before the storm arrived on Sunday.
Hurricane survivors cannot request a hotel.
However, FEMA will identify eligible survivors and notify them by phone, text, or email.
Those who play by the rules must find and reserve their own rooms.
The hotels participating in the program are listed on Disaster Assistance.gov under the Transitional Shelering Assistance Program link or by calling the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-3362.
About 240,000 Louisiana residents have requested federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Ida, up from 18,000 on Monday, T officials said.
FEMA officials also said those who qualify for a hotel may have to travel a significant distance to find a room.
Hotels have been approved for Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
FEMA only pays the room and taxes.
Survivors are responsible for meals, transportation and other costs.
The current plan covers 30 days – September 2 to October 2. 2.
Hotel charges are not retroactive until September 2, but hurricane survivors can submit their receipts to FEMA for possible reimbursement of personal expenses.
Eligible individuals must also sign a document upon registration and agree to follow the guidelines of the program.
Those looking for a local shelter can call 211 or get information by texting 898-211 and typing lashelter.
The hotel option applies to residents of the 25 parishes declared federal disaster areas.
The two state shelters are the Raising Cane’s River Center, 275 S. River Road in Baton Rouge and the Rapides Coliseum, 5600 Coliseum Road in Alexandria.
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The space of local shelters is constantly evolving.
“It’s very fluid,” Heitman said.
“They are constantly opening and closing as needed, according to their resources,” she said.
Check back with The Advocate for more details.